Polio can be eradicated in India: Health Experts

by Monisha on  November 18, 2006 at 12:28 PM Indian Health News   - G J E 4
Polio can be eradicated in India: Health Experts
Experts from Imperial College London UK opine that new measures have to be considered to battle Polio in India now. Even after mammoth efforts for comprehensive immunization from the health officials in India, almost one-third of polio cases reported globally happen to be from India.

According to the experts in UK, the rising numbers of cases of polio in India are due to improper sanitation and congestion of living space. These obstacles make it contusive for the rapid spread of the virus making the vaccine almost ineffective. But experts say that this problem can be countered successfully with new vaccines... Overcrowding, contaminated food and water infected by the faeces of people with polio virus spread the virus to others, said Dr Grassly. High birth rates compounds difficulty faced by making it more difficult to reach all new born babies in time.

The current vaccine made available to the public was used to battle three strains of virus that is concerned with causing polio called a trivalent vaccine... However it has been noticed that the vaccines have to be given in multiple dosage to ensure effective protection against the disease.

Presently in India, The Type 1 strain of Polio virus is the dominant strain explains experts. Targeting this dominant strain using a novel monovalent vaccine should successfully wipe out the virus opines experts. The WHO officials involved with Global Polio Eradication Initiative also agree with this new suggestion to implement a monovalent vaccine. However they emphasize that this monovalent vaccine can be effective only when administered to children. The key to success therefore is based on effectively immunizing as many new born children as possible.

Reaching all children remains a major challenge as the number of new born children in the state of Uttar Pradesh itself is a staggering 250,000 .And all of them need to be vaccinated.

Although incurable Polio still remains a disease that can be prevented through vaccination. Experts point out that statistics show that prior to 1998 there were more than 350,000 cases of Polio cases noted world wide. But today after the WHO established the global anti-polio campaign the number of polio cases has decreased phenomenally. However polio still makes its dreaded presence in few countries like Nigeria, Afghanistan, India and Pakistan.

Source: Medindia

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